Yes, I am one of those people caught up in the holiday hoopla. I put on red, make dinner reservations, and make calls to my loved ones. I’ve been celebrating Valentine’s Day for about three years now. Because for three years I’ve been with the man I was always searching for – my father.
My parents separated before I finished elementary school. But I did not know that I would be losing him. I just accepted the fact that he was gone and even told myself he was dead just to make the situation less painful.
But as I got older, I went searching. I wanted someone to tell me that I was beautiful. I wanted someone to help me with my math. I wanted someone to tell me that guys were not supposed to put their hands on me if I did not want them to.
I wanted a father to tell me that my first love was a troubled man. I wanted my mother to stop coming home exhausted every night from working so hard. I wanted someone to rake the leaves instead of me, and someone to cut the yard without having to be paid to do it.
On my sixteenth birthday, I searched for Mr. Right. I knew exactly how he looked. He had light eyes, caramel skin and smooth hair. By the time I graduated, I said to myself that Mr. Right was lost in a grave and existed only in my mind. I figured that I would never be standing next to Mr. Right, in a white-laced dress and a sheer crown over my head.
Then during my sophomore year, Mr. Right came to me. Nothing could have prepared me for that moment. He was everything I dreamed. He wrapped himself in an envelope and labeled himself with my last name. I was in love.
It was a simple holiday card with his number inside encouraging me to call. I could have been angry. I could have meditated on his absence. But I realized there was a part of me that needed healing.
Before then I believed love had to be painful in order to be real. But, when I decided to give my father the chance to restore his presence in my life, my theory changed. His love is concerned, guiding and helpful. His love helps me to love myself and forgive people for their mistakes. Now that Mr. Right is in my life, my heart beats with a happiness that soothes past sorrows.
Tiffany Pitts is a senior public relations student from Jacksonville. She is the lifestyles editor for The Famuan. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.